Our Current Responsibilities:
Currently, the ambulance service operates three Advanced Life Support [ALS] ambulances to cover approx. 150 sq. miles including:
The municipalities we service are:
Chest Springs Borough
Ashville and surrounding areas were incorporated into the service area in May of 2001, upon the request of the Ashville VFD. Their generosity has provided an ambulance and space in their fire hall to make this coverage possible.
Likewise, in 2010 Lilly Ambulance Service merged with Cambria Alliance EMS, formerly called Cresson Area Ambulance Service Inc.
Memberships are also available for those living in our coverage area. Please see the information below regarding memberships.
If you are interested in joining the Cambria Alliance family of employees, fill out the application below or call 814-886-5641 ext 2.
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Cambria Alliance EMS got its start in 1929, when Norman P. Casher came to Cresson and began a funeral business. The hearses he used also served as patient transport vehicles to nearby Altoona Hospitals. The first hearse that was used was a Willis-Knight (in 1933), followed by a Pontiac which had no heater, a Dodge soon followed, and then a Buick, which was outfitted with red lights, siren, and oxygen. Finally, a Cadillac followed, and was given a first-aid kit and CB radios--all of which were installed in 1976.
The original attendants were Norman Casher, Charles Kennedy, and Francis "Perce" Casher. The crew handled patients in Cresson, Gallitzin, Loretto, Lilly, and Ebensburg. The rule of the attendants was: "Keep breathing; stop bleeding." The first fees for ambulance services were $10, unless the patient expired on the way to the hospital, in which case transportation was free.
As the Casher-Kennedy Funeral Home expanded, so did pre-hospital care. First-aid kits were placed in the vehicles, and the first class of Emergency Medical Technicians were beginning to make ambulance calls. The first class of EMTs included: Francis P. Casher, Tim Pupo, Robert Sheehan, Jr., and Tim Casher. Members of the Cresson Fire Company, as well as local physicians, including Dr. Bergstine, Dr. Priedeaux, Dr. Kirby, and Dr. Cassidy, assisted in medical care to the sick and injured prior to departure to a hospital.
On Nov. 27th, 1978, the Charles M. Kennedy Funeral Home of Cresson announced plans to form a non-profit ambulance service to be know as the Kennedy Ambulance Service, Inc. The name was incorporated because Mr. Kennedy donated all the existing medical equipment, the Cadillac, and provided the new service money to purchase a 1976 Modular ambulance for $16,000. The twelve charter members were: Charles Kennedy, Alan Holl, Mary Holl, Robert Sheehan, Jr., Jonathan Speck, Ron Stevens, Barry McGuire, Robert Hogue, Dave Fulton, Joseph Adams, and Susan Adams. The ambulance was staffed by three registered nurses: Betty Fulton, Cindy Sheehan, and Carol Stiles.
In 1980, Advanced Life Support [ALS] was introduced to the Cresson area. Four EMTs became paramedics, and Jack Seymore, a paramedic from nearby Altoona and former Vietnam medic, joined the service to help train the new paramedics. A $7,000 heart monitor/defibrillator and all necessary equipment, including advanced two-way radios to communicate with medical command doctors, were purchased through public donations. The hospital emergency room was virtually able to be brought to the patient's home.
In April of 1981, the service bought the George & Lee Quartz Building on 2nd St. for a generous $35,000. Before the purchase, the ambulances were housed in buildings apart from each other. After a lot of hard work and dedication, the new building had been remodeled--a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house were held on Oct. 31, 1981.
In 1988, The Kennedy Ambulance Service, Inc., through the Articles of Amendment, changed the name of the non-profit corporation to, Cresson Area Ambulance Service, Inc. Likewise, in 1991, due to the growing demands of the ambulance business, the service elected to change its form of government from within to the specialties of individuals outside the service. A Board of Directors was established to handle the financial and legal matters of the everyday operations of the business. That same year, in Oct., a mortgage burning ceremony was held at the station. Nine of the 12 charter members were in attendance and recognized along with George and Lee Quartz. Recognition was also given to the service's founders, and their portraits were hung on the conference room wall.
In 1993, building renovations were made to the building. The crew lounge, full-size kitchen, men's and women's bunk rooms, and bathrooms were renovated to accommodate the round-the-clock, paid crews.